Mewar, is the land of valour and chivalry, a treasure of impregnable forts and beautiful palace. A fertile land, dotted with lakes and hills, Mewar region is known for its picturesque beauty and valiant endeavors of brave warriors which still make many a heart flutter.
Udaipur, the city of lakes, is one of the most romantic cities in Rajasthan. The city boasts of beautiful gardens and marble palaces. The city palace adorning Pichhola lake is an enchanting sight, with its massive walls, domes and arches. Jag Niwas or the Lake Palace, is a marvelous sight. It seems to be floating atop the lake Pichhola. The other places of interest are the Jagdish temple, Sajjan Niwas Sajjangarh and Sahelion ki Bari, Jaisamand, Nathdwara and Ranakpur are situated close by.
The land of courage and martyrdom, Chittaurgarh, stands apart in history. Innumerable tales of Chittaurgarh's legendary rulers are still sung by the folk musicians in Rajasthan. The Chittaurgarh fort, crowning a 180 mtrs. high hillock, reminds the visitors of its glory in the yesteryears. Situated within the fort premises is the impressive Keerti Stambh. The palaces of Rana Kumbha, Rani Padmini and queen - poetess Meera Bai's temple are among the major attractions.
Bhilwara is an industrial town with many textile mills located here. There are a few temples and a small fortress available for sight - seeing.
Rajsamand is a beautiful town near Kankroli. It was founded by Maharaja Raj Singh of Mewar. Rajsamand is famous for a large artificial lake.
HOW TO GET TO UDAIPUR
Air: Dabok airport is 24 kms. from the city centre, Daily flights connect Udaipur with Jodhpur, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Mumbai and Delhi.
Rail: Udaipur id directly linked by rail with Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Chittaurgarh, Jodhpur and Ahmedabad.
Road: A wide network of bus services link Udaipur with several destinations. Some of the important connections are Agra, 630 kms.; Ahmedabad, 262 kms.; Ajmer, 264 kms.; Jaipur, 406 kms.; Jodhpur, 275 kms.; and Mount Abu, 185 kms.
LESSER KNOWN DESTINATIONS AROUND UDAIPUR
Eklingji is 22 kms. from Udaipur and is famous for its 108 temples compels protected by a high fortified wall. Shri Eklingji, the famous deity of the rulers of Mewar is associated with Lord Shiva.The village is also known as Kailashpuri - the abode of Shiva. The chief temple is built of granite and marble. The walled complex encloses an elaborately pillared hall or wanding under a large pyramidal roof and has four faced images of Lord Shiva in black marble. Another prominent temple in this complex is the Lakulish temple dating back to 971 A.D.
Nagda, situated about 23 kms. from Udaipur was the ancient capital of Mewar. A place of great antiquity, its old name was Nagahrida or Nagadraha. This town was founded by Nagaditya of Guhilot clan in our around sixth century A.D. Nagda is famous for two beautiful monuments - Saas Bahu Ka Mandir and Adbhut ji Ka Mandir which date back to 11th or 12 century.
LOCATION: Rikhabdeo is situated 65 kms. south of Udaipur town.
HISTORY: Rikhabdeo is a religious town associated with Jainism. The antiquity of its existence cannot be determined with exactitude. However, three inscriptions have been traced which recorded deeds of piety and repairs during the 14th and 15th centuries.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Rikhabdeo is well known for its Adinath or Rikhabdeo temple which attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over. The deity is worshipped by the Hindus as well as the Jains. Whilst the Hindu regard the deity as an incarnation of Vishnu, the Jains regard him as one of the twenty four Tirthankaras. The deity is worshipped by the Bhils also who regard it to be Kesariyaji.
Jaisamand lake is situated 51 kms. away from Udaipur on the way to Salumbar.
HISTORY: The foundation of the dam was laid by Maharana Jai Singh of Mewar and he celebrated the occasion by giving away gold in charity after a Tuladaan ceremony. It was earlier known as the Dhebar lake as the river by which the lake is formed, used to flow through Dhebar and pass across two hillocks.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: The Jaisamand lake is one of the largest artificial lakes of the world. The lake has a maximum length and width of about 14.5 kms. and 10 kms. respectively. In the lake there are three islands whose inhabitants use Bhels (boats) to reach the shore. On the top of two nearby hillocksare two old places constructed by Maharana Jai Singh. A very fine view of the lake is available from these places.
The route from Udaipur to Jaisamand provides enchanting scenery with tall trees on both sides of the winding road which passes through a hilly terrain. The lake presents a picturesque view and is a much sought after resort. On the embankment, there are six beautiful chhatris built at intervals and a temple of Narmadeshwar Mahadeo. In front of each of these chhatris, stands a beautifully carved stone elephant on a pedestal with its trunk upwards. At the northern end is an old palace with a few wall paintings.
In addition, there is a game sanctuary adjacent to the lake which is certainly worth a visit. Boating in the lake is an added attraction and at a distance of 3 kms., Jaisamand Lake Resort provides 5 star facilities. It is an ideal place for tourists and picnickers.
LOCATION: Kumbhalgarh is about 80 kms. from Udaipur.
HISTORY: Kumbhalgarh is known for its historical fort, which was built by Rana Kumbha between 1445 and 1458 A.D. The fort has witnessed many heroic deeds of great warriors.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: The principal attraction is the fort. The fort stands on a rocky hill commanding an excellent view of the wild and rugged scenery of the Aravalis and the sandy desert of Marwar. It is defended by a series of walls with battlements and bastions. The fort is built on the site of a still more ancient castle which tradition ascribes to as Samrapati, a Jain prince of the second century B.C.
"Badal Mahal" or the cloud Palace at the top offers a scenic view of the surrounding countryside. Renovated in the late 19th century, a few temples here are of great beauty and interest. The Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary nearby is also worth visiting.
40 kms. This place is of great historic importance. The memorable battle between Maharana Pratap and Mughal forces Emperor Akbar was fought here in 1576 A.D. Besides other monuments there is a chhatri dedicated to Chetak, a faithful horse of Maharana Pratap.
48 kms. Built in the early 18 th century, this is the most celebrated of the Vaishnava shrine of Shri Nathji of Lord Krishna. Thousands of pilgrims from all parts of India visit this shrine everyday and the number increases to one lakh during Diwali, Holi and Janmashtami. Visitors of other religions are not permitted inside and photography is not allowed.
66 kms. Situated close to kankroli, this dam was built by Maharana Raj Singh in 1660 A.D. Exquisite arches and chhatris adorn the embankment.
HOW TO GET TO CHITTAURGARH
Air: Udaipur (112 kms.) is the nearest airport.
Rail: By train, Chittaurgarh is connected to Ajmer, Jaipur, Alwar, Delhi, Bundi, Kota, Udaipur and Ahmedabad among other cities.
Road: Bus services operate to several important destinations. Some notable distances are - Delhi - 583 kms., Mount Abu - 297 kms., Jaipur - 325 kms., and Udaipur - 112 kms.s
LESSER KNOWN DESTINATIONS AROUND CHITTAURGARH
BASSI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
This sanctuary near Bassi covers 50 sq. kms. of landed area. The prime attraction here are various animals like panthers, wild boars, antelopes, mongoose and migratory birds. For entry, prior permission has to be obtained from the District Forest Officer, Chittaurgarh.
SITA MATA SANCTUARY
The jungle of Sita Mata is spread over the Aravali ranges and the Vindhyachal ranges. Three rivers flow through the forest. According to a popular belief, it was in this jungle that Lord Rama had exiled his wife, Devi Sita. She had taken refuge in Rishi Valmiki's Ashram, which was situated here. Leopards, hyena, jackal, fox, porcupine, sambhar, wild boar, four-horned antelope, nilgai and flying squirrel are among the animals seen here.
Nagri is an ancient town of archaeological importance. It is 20 kms. from Chittaurgarh enroute Bundi and is situated on the Banks of the river Bedach. Formerly, the town was known as Madhyamika which flourished from the Mauryan to the Gupta era. Remains of Hindu temples and structures of Buddhist monuments have been found here.